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or were in this country without proper documentation came from central and south america. the largest number of them from a single country, that is mexico. which is not altogether surprising when you realize we have a common border with mexico that ranges from the gulf of mexico to the pacific coast, it is approximately 1,960 miles long. and if you have visited, if you have traveled along the entire length, as i did back in the early 1980's as a member of the immigration subcommittee, you will find the topography sets that it is difficult at times to actually have a border that is marked and a border that is controlled. nonetheless, that does not excuse us for not exercising the control that we should have. because of the fact that we had this dilemma of a large number of people who had come to this country illegally, and at the same time we were attempting to enforce the law such that a worldwide quota system would still in fact be worked, in the 1980's, there was an effort to try to reform our immigration laws. i was a part of that, as a member of the immigration subcommittee. we we
the fiscal cliff is all about. it's about people. not politics. it's about protecting america's future. not repeating the mistakes of the past. with that, i'm proud to introduce my colleague, christi -- kristi noem from south dakota. >> good afternoon. thank all of you for coming. i was having a conversation with my 10-year-old son the other day, talking about lessons i had learn from my grandfather. my grandfather had always taught me that those people you are indebted to, they control you. they control your decisions, your opportunities, and what your future is going to be. right now, the amount of debt our children have sit ogen their heads that they're responsible for for the federal deficit is over $50,000 each. that's going to control them. that's going to control their futures and their decisions that they'll have available to them in the future. that's why the president's plan to raise taxes isn't a solution. because it only covered 8% of our federal deficit. it's not a solution that actually solves the problem that we have. we have got to have a solution that really addresses
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